How Working Out After 40 Years Old Is Like


How Working Out After 40 Years Old Is Like
How Working Out After 40 Years Old Is Like

If you are a beginner and you are now starting to work out and you are 40 or over this guide on How Working Out After 40 Years Old Is Like may be beneficial to you.

Did you know that as you get older it’s even more important to keep fit and workout?

To help you navigate this I have split this document in the following parts:

  • A little bit about my current situation.
  • How working out after 40 is compared to being younger
  • What to expect and be aware of the progress

My Current Situation

My Background Progress
My Background Progress

I come from a background that was very athletic. I’ve been doing sports all my life ranging from football, basketball, karate, swimming, tennis and the latest addition is exercising in the gym.

I have been going to the gym for well over 18 years now consistently with a few breaks in between. I usually take 1-2 months at the most off every year to let my body recover and recuperate as I think this is fundamental to keep going.

I love the gym so much that I feel in love with it and never left it for many of the good things it gives me besides health which I will talk about later in this article.

Today however I’m going to focus specifically on giving you some tips on what it’s like to work out at the age of 40+ and why this may be important to you.

Over the years I had 4 trainers of different levels and backgrounds. Most where in Miami from a prestigious gym in Brickell called equinox. Each of them gave me a little piece to carry forward and keep with me and over the years I basically built up to learning and making a system that’s adaptable to me.

Having said that I am not a health or fitness coach and I don’t do this professionally. I’m just a software developer that has passion for the gym. If you really seeing for that more professional advice you should seek out to the right people and use my article just as awareness advice.

How Working Out After 40 Is Different

One of the first things you need to come into terms with is that working out after the age of 40 is very different to when you were younger. This can be attributed to a lot of reasons that I’m going to detail below. But before I proceed into explaining those do not lose motivation just come into terms with your new reality it will help you stay motivated as time passes by.

Hormonal Levels Change After 40

Hormones After 40
Hormones After 40

Perhaps the most important factor is that your hormones change drastically as you age. At the age of 40 you should be well into that even if you have been an athlete your entire life.

More specifically your testosterone levels start going down. The general rule in approximation is about 1% per year and this starts happening at the age of 30 for most healthy adults. Yes this means by the time you reach 60 years old you will have approximately a 30% drop in your testosterone levels in your body compared to when you were 30.

The easiest work around to reduce this number is to eat a healthy and balanced diet and off course exercise as frequently as you can. Since this is a bigger topic I am not going to detail how to do this here but I will cover it in a separate article.

Another work around is to go on supplementation from a certified doctor either in the form of direct testosterone or pills that help. I don’t necessarily recommend this but it’s definitely an option if you want to keep into shape as you get older.

Body Decline After 40 Years Old – Bones and Joints

Bones And Joints After 40
Bones And Joints After 40

Another very important factor is that as you get older your joints and bones get weaker. This is a natural process of aging and it’s rooted deep into our DNA and unfortunately there’s no way around it. The only thing you can do is again follow a health diet rich in protein and healthy fats and avoid unnecessary stress factors to your body.

Since bone density changes your body’s composition. This means your muscles as big as they are will eventually get affected by a softer and smaller bone build. This will impact consequently the amount of weight you can lift. Always remember the body works synergistically when you do compound movements so everything matters.

The change you will see from this is that the amount of weight you used to lift will decline. Also your recovery will will drastically increase. So ensure you are taking appropriate supplementation and also proper amount of sleep.

Since we tend to sleep less as we get older you need to put an effort to get at least 7-8hrs of sleep time between your workouts. The days you are not working out or you are off for a prolonged period of time you need to remember that you still need to be resting accordingly.

Muscle Atrophy After The Age Of 40

Atrophied Muscle
Atrophied Muscle

We all know that muscles is one of the biggest factors on your gym performance. More specifically it affects the following things:

  • How your body looks
  • How much weight you can lift
  • Functionally how well you can perform in exercises

Since muscles atrophy when you do not work them out or you get older, it’s very important that you do everything you can to preserve them. A diet high in protein will ensure this is prevented but it’s not sufficient on it’s own to stop muscles from going into an atrophy stage. You also need to work out to keep them going.

You need to go back to the basics and stay focused on compound and core exercises. Try to keep the weight at a lower amount and focus on using your own body weight to avoid straining your muscles. Remember that now that you are older you can’t have the same expectations of how much you can lift as your whole body is more fragile.

So if you used to bench for example 225lbs (100kg) in chest press then you need to go lower to something like 175lbs or whatever is easy for your body.

Gym Endurance After The Age Of 40

Endurance After 40 Years Old
Endurance After 40 Years Old

Besides going to the gym and working out the duration you are there also matters. When you were younger you were probably used into long sessions if you pushed yourself exceeding 1 hour of lifting weights and then on top of that doing cardio. If you haven’t then maybe you weren’t pushing yourself always too hard which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I used to do that.

As the years passed my endurance went down and I started reducing the amount of time I lifted weights. I essentially cut down my weight lifting time from 60mins to 35mins and my cardio from 45mins to 20mins. Although some argue you should keep your cardio at the same levels as it helps your heart I usually do interval running so basically this is a small period of time where you walk and then sprint and vice versa. This form of cardio is more intense than the traditional cardio where you run at a steady pace.

Having said that the process of exercising is overall important particularly the weights, so don’t be afraid to cut down the duration if you stay consistent and keep working out.

Life Responsibilities After 40 Years Affecting The Gym

Gym - Family Responsibilities
Gym – Family Responsibilities

Finally I’d like to talk a bit about the life responsibilities. As you get older you tend to get married and have kids. Furthermore most adults have to work in a timeframe of 9-5. If you add to that overtime and the occasional commute time it takes up a long portion of your day. Eventually you are left with about 6-8 hours of time to go home relax, deload and eat.

If you have kids then you need to probably pick them up from school and help them study depending on what age they are in. Since the responsibility list just goes up for the period of 40-50 years of your life until they are adults and can go out on their own you are left with very little time.

This means you either need to cut down on your sleep which is a very bad idea (this is besides this article) or sometimes sacrifice working out all together. The alternative is to force yourself to exercise whenever you get the opportunity or have extra time. You can take an hour out of your weekend and focus on the gym or doing some form of activity, if you have a free day or time in a weekday try to fit that in.

Also the amount of times I worked out have gone down. I used to do 5-6 days a week when I was in prime shape I averaged about 5 but these days since my schedule has been hectic this has gone down to 2-3 times a week and if I get lucky a day specifically for cardio (I like to do hikes in the mountain). Since the frequency also plays a role in your overall physique it will change how you look a bit.

Don’t be alarmed by this however and just keep going it’s more important to stay consistent with a routine even if it’s less than what you used to do than to do nothing at all.


If you found my How Working Out After 40 Years Old Is Like useful and you think it may have helped you please drop me a cheer below I would appreciate it.

If you have any questions, comments please post them below I check periodically and try to answer them in the priority they come in. Also if you have any corrections please do let me know and I’ll update the article with new updates or mistakes I did.

If you are over 40 do you currently workout?

I currently try the best I can to incorporate some physical activity on my day to day routine. While this may not be as active as it used to be when I was younger due to having kids and family and my time in general is reduced I still try to keep afloat the best I can.

I wrote some other article on working out which you can find below:

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